Hyderabad: As many as 5,749 polling stations across 17 parliamentary constituencies in Telangana state have been marked as highly sensitive in 2,606 locations.
About 70,000 police personnel including those from the Central Armed Police Force and from other states will be guarding the polling stations.
The Central Reserve Police Force personnel will be safeguarding the EVMs at the strongrooms the day of the counting of votes on May 23.
Additional director general (law and order) Jitender said on Tuesday that over 70,000 police personnel were being deployed towards security at all 34,603 police stations in the state.
Forces from Haryana, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh and Jharkhand have been drawn for security. About 440 flying squads and 393 static surveillance teams will also be monitoring the elections.
A command control centre is being set up at the state police headquarters to monitor the elections on a shift basis, he said.
He said that special security arrangements have also been made in left wing extremist affected areas located on the borders of Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra where combing operations were already extensively carried out to prevent untoward incidents. Inter-state and inter-district border check posts are already set up to prevent the flow of cash, liquor and freebies.
Responding to a query, the ADG said, “Poll boycott call by the Maoists for the last decade has no support from people. They have given a call to boycott the poll, but we believe that people will vote in large numbers this time. We (police) are completely prepared and hope to have free and fair elections.”
An air ambulance and helicopters were arranged in consultation with the Chief Electoral Officer for any contingency at strategic locations on poll day.
It will be a tough time for politicians, as shadow teams will be behind them to monitor if they try to distribute cash, influence voters at the polling stations and also allow large numbers of supporters during their visit to the booths.
In order to curb violations and irregular practices by top politicians of all parties, shadow teams are being deployed to follow the movements of the leaders on poll day. A senior police official said that carrying mobile phones inside a polling station is strictly prohibited and will be considered an offence.
Since the model code of conduct came into existence on March 10, 2019, state police have seized Rs 37.76 crore cash, over Rs two crore worth of gold, silver, drugs and other freebies, over Rs one crore worth liquor till 4 pm on Tuesday.
Police have also booked 453 cases which include 445 MCC violations, whereas, during the Assembly elections in Telangana in 2018, around 1,500 cases were booked.
With a day left for the elections in the state, police anticipate untoward incidents in Nizamabad Parliament constituency and have placed additional security forces to ensure incident-free polling.
The filing of nominations by 177 farmers in protest against the union and state governments for not taking measures to provide minimum support prices for crops, has made police to mark Nizamabad constituency as ‘politically sensitive’.
“A deputy inspector general rank official has been stationed at Nizamabad to monitor the entire electioneering process. The constituency has become politically sensitive with large numbers of farmers filing nominations. Additional personnel from the state and central armed forces have been deployed in Nizamabad. Polling at Nizamabad will be held till 6 pm,” said the Additional DG.